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    Brave UP Maroons put an end to Ateneo's 39-game win streak

    May 1, 2022
    James Spencer delivers the biggest basket for the UP Maroons in the win over Ateneo.
    James Spencer delivers the biggest basket for the UP Maroons in the win over Ateneo.

    ATENEO’S historic UAAP winning streak is history.

    University of the Philippines stood its ground in the clutch on Sunday to put an end to Ateneo’s 39-game winning streak with a pulsating 84-83 victory before a full house crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena.

    James Spencer hit a clutch three-pointer, Ricci Rivero drained the marginal free throw with 22.2 seconds left before Malick Diouf grabbed the crucial rebound after a miss by Gian Mamuyac to deny Ateneo another shot at a winner.

    Carl Tamayo Ange Kouame

    Fouled with 1.5 seconds left, Diouf missed the two free throws but grabbed the rebound of his his own miss to complete the victory that denied the three-time champions a second successive sweep of the eliminations.

    UP’s win marked the Blue Eagles’ first defeat in the UAAP since October 10, 2018 when it was beaten, 63-60, by Far Eastern University.


      By denying Ateneo a sweep of the two-round eliminations, UP set the stage for a Final Four battle that will see the top-seeded Blue Eagles taking on No. 4 FEU and the Maroons taking on No. 3 seed La Salle.


      UP and Ateneo will enjoy twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinal round.

      Diouf steps up

      Diouf had a monster game in his match-up against Ange Kouame, finishing with 18 points and 16 rebounds, while Carl Tamayo added 16 points.

      James Spencer finished with 12 points, capping his performance with a three-pointer in the final 43.2 seconds to give UP the upper hand, 82-81. That set the stage for a thrilling finish as both teams swapped clutch shots in the dying moments.

      Dave Ildefonso responded with a putback with 32.1 seconds to give Ateneo back the lead, before Rivero drew a foul on a side-stepping drive to the basket to earn a trip to the line for the marginal free-throws.

      Ange Kouame celebrates with BJ Andrade.

      Rivero atoned for a couple of misses and turnovers in the final minutes with the big free throws. He finished with eight points but was a perfect 4-of-4 from the line.

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      UP finished the eliminations with a 12-2 record as it avenged a 90-81 loss to Ateneo in the first round. The Maroons set the tone with a 27-13 lead at the end of the first, and led by as many as 18 in the contest.

      Kouame finished with 21 points, 17 rebounds, and three blocks including a slam that got the Ateneo crowd alive after giving his team a 77-75 lead.

      Ildefonso and SJ Belangel scored 18 and 11 respectively including back-to-back baskets to extend the gap to four, 81-77, with 4:15 remaining, only for the Fighting Maroons to keep their poise in the endgame.

      The scores:

      UP 84 – Diouf 18, Tamayo 16, Spencer 12, Cansino 11, Lucero 9, Rivero 8, Cagulangan 7, Fortea 3, Alarcon 0, Webb 0, Lina 0.

      Ateneo 83 – Kouame 21, Ildefonso 18, Belangel 11, Andrade 10, Verano 7, Tio 6, Koon 5, Lazaro 2, Mendoza 2, Chiu 1, Mamuyac 0.

      Quarters: 27-13; 50-44; 70-67; 84-83.

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      James Spencer delivers the biggest basket for the UP Maroons in the win over Ateneo.
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